The BBC's hit iPlayer service is now available on Xbox 360 consoles in the UK - and the new, free player is voice- and gesture-controlled via Xbox's Kinect microphone and motion sensor.

Saying 'Fast Forward' skips through shows, and saying, 'HD' sets shows to play in high quality.

Xbox users will now be able to use their console as a 'set-top box' to watch the catch-up TV service, which offers 30 days of BBC shows on an on-demand basis.

The BBC announced that one in four shows played via iPlayer is now played via device plugged into a TV - and the corporation expects that to rise to 50 per cent by 2015.

The service will be free to all users of Xbox Live's service - allaying console users' fears that it would be restricted to users of the paid-for 'Gold' service.

Shows will be available in hi-def via the console - which already offers other on-demand services such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

Both Wii and PlayStation 3 already offer the service - Virgin Media's cable boxes already have iPlayer built in, and 450 other services such as Freeview, Freesat and BT Vision also offer iPlayer.

Sky's TV boxes will follow later this year.

Xbox was the best-selling console in the UK last year.

Daniel Danker, BBC General Manager, Programmes & On-Demand, said: ‘Xbox is hugely successful in the UK. Given the BBC’s goal to reach its entire audience, I’m particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE’s free membership.’

‘As we continue our work to make BBC iPlayer as simple as possible, we’re also excited to experiment with natural user interfaces made possible with Kinect, including voice and gesture control.’